Joseph:- Joseph Balicki was the head of the Balicki family. He was the Headmaster of a Primary School in Warsaw. Joseph and his Swiss wife Margrit had three children, Edek, Ruth, and Bronia. He was bundled off to a prison camp in Zakyna, where the weather was extremely harsh. Joseph, was marched off to Zakyna because, during a scripture lesson, Joseph had turned Hitlers’ picture towards the wall. Someone had reported this to the Nazis and Joseph was taken to Zakyna. But he was determined to escape.
Joseph never gave up hope even when the others told him that his family had probably perished, he thought that there was always some hope that they were yet alive. He was a very positive man and was extremely optimistic in his thinking. That was one of the reasons why Joseph had been able to escape from Zakyna when others had failed. Another reason was because Joseph was a very intelligent and witty man. He was extremely observant. Joseph always thought before he acted and that was how he was able to make such brilliant plans and amazing strategies. For days and days observed what the Nazi soldiers did daily.
Then, he knocked out a soldier and pretended to be one himself. That is why we can also say that Joseph was extremely clever. After he escaped, Joseph first met an old man and a lady who were very kind to him and also very helpful. They offered him food and shelter for a few nights until he was ready to go again. Later, in search of his family, he also met this young, mysterious boy, Jan. At first, Jan was very secretive. Afterwards, Jan opened up a little. He was still secretive and shy, he told Joseph about what had happened to his family after he was taken to prison and that helped Joseph a great deal.
Soon, Joseph embarked on the long journey in search of his beloved family. Bronia:-Bronia loved drawing and was a fine artist. She learnt to be strong and endured may hardships. She was a fast learner, and quickly learnt to adapt to the situation around. She did not have a normal childhood, and was immature, but matured over the years. She was kind, helpful, and respected everybody, especially her elders. Everybody worried about her and was very kind to her, they were very helpful to her, and tried to comfort her. Bronia grew up without her parents, as both of them were captured and taken away by the Nazis.
She did not take this well at first, and was still immature and cried a lot. Slowly she learnt to adapt and she matured quickly. Bronia had a green Polish ration card and was allowed to take small amounts of food, but it was not sufficient for a growing child such as herself. As a result, unless Edek found casual work, they did not have money to buy food and she went hungry most of the time. She passed the time drawing and she enjoyed it too. When Edek was caught and taken away while trying to smuggle cheese into the city, she and Ruth had to fend for themselves.
They had food, clothes, shelter and money as well as run the school by themselves. Bronia was very grateful for what she received. Everybody was kind and helpful to her and worried about her a lot. She became self confident, she was determined and did not care what it took, but she had made up her mind that she would go looking for her parents and her brother and that they would be re-united and be a family once again. Jan:-Jan was kind, thoughtful and loyal to his animals. But Jan was a thief. He was considered to be kind as he shares a sandwich with the cast.
Left on his own at an early age he is first rebellious and full of hatred and steals. Jan appears mean, sneaky, clever, harsh, cold, selfish, unkind and a trickster who knew how to steal from people right under their noses. These character traits were developed because of his situation but he has a heart of gold. After finding love and compassion with the Balickis he learns to channel his energy and live productively in society. Edek:- Edek was a young and spirited boy who at the young age of eleven had to look after two sisters. He became their life line , bringing food and clothes and building a shelter for them .
Along with being quick, alert and fearless, he was also strong willed and as agile as a monkey. He was very innovative and resourceful, planning a daring escape from over the roof. He also proved to be brave when he shot a Nazi with his rifle. Though he was young, he was also resourceful, illegally bringing material to the Polish people in exchange for food and clothes, quickly earning everyone’s respect. Ruth:Ruth was courageous, responsible, wise and unselfish with sound commonsense. She was optimistic to the core. She had an indomitable spirit and she never lost hope. She overcame oall obstacles, despite the act that she was only thirteen when the war broke out.
She was separated from her parents and she had no home. She accepted the great responsibilities that fell on her small shoulders and behaved more like an adult than a child. She was mature for her years and protective of her siblings. She made sure that Edek was always cheerful by keeping him busy. She took great care of her baby sister Bronia like a mother. She was brave and she was protective of her family. She was willing to get trampled upon when she thought that little Bronia would get crushed in the scuffle in the field kitchen in the village of Kalina near Posen.